Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Cerro Escondido Lodge is a set of rustic cabins set within the surreally beautiful protected forests of the Karen Mogensen Nature Reserve.

The lodge is set on the grounds of a former homestead at an elevation of over 900 feet and miles from the nearest road. As such, wildlife abounds in this part of the nature reserve, and guests will likely have the opportunity to see some of the wildlife such as howler monkeys, coati, and several of the reserve's nearly 250 species of birds from the grounds of the lodge area itself.

Getting to the lodge is your first sign of what to expect. In order to reach it, guests must park their cars and walk a 2 mile trail with about 600 feet of elevation gain, or they can opt to go by horseback. The lodge area itself consists of two cabin buildings, each with two separate rooms that each contain beds for up to five and bathrooms with running water. There is no phone signal here, so turn it off, and plan on spending your time instead in one of the hammocks throughout the area where insect and bird songs echo through the air. Early mornings and evenings, the sounds of howler monkeys in the nearby trees can be heard.

All water comes from the spring-fed creeks, and electricity is supplied by solar panels that connect to battery storage. 

Central to the lodge is the outdoor dining area and kitchen, which is built onto a terrace overlooking the wild forests of the reserve. Doña Mery runs the kitchen, preparing meals and snacks daily for lodge guests using milk, eggs and food supplied by the villages just outside the reserve. Her husband, Arnulfo, acts as the lodge's guide. Having spent his entire life living in one of the town's near the edge of the reserve, his passion for and knowledge of the landscape is clear, and he is able to point an abundance of birds and animals and identify many of the tree species along the hikes. Arnulfo and Mery do a fantastic job accommodating their guests' individual schedules, as well.

The lodge is central to several areas of interest within the nature reserve, and many of the trails within the reserve converge here. Mid-day hikes are optimal for visiting the cool pools of the waterfalls or walking along the spring-fed creeks. Later in the afternoon may be better for heading into the cool and shady primary forests to one of the peaks, like the Mirador del Golfo Trail, with panoramic views to watch the dusk. After dark, red-eyed tree frogs descend to the creeks just a few hundred feet away from the lodge.

The lodge grounds are sometimes used in educational programs for regional children, so many of the trees and plants are labelled, and devices such as solar ovens and bee boxes sit throughout the property.

Room rentals are about $70 per night (currently there are four rooms that sleep up to five people each), and there is an additional cost for the guide and food. Mery and Arnulfo are each only fluent in Spanish, though travelers will be able to communicate with very basic Spanish. 

Additional information can be found at www.asepaleco.com or by calling 506.26.50.06.07 or emailing [email protected]

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Rarely full

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Price per night

$1-70/night

Pros

Beautiful forest location. Surrounded by wildlife.

Cons

Requires a 600-foot climb to access.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Reservations possible

Yes

Features

Potable water
Electricity
Big vistas
Bird watching
Wildlife
Flushing toilets

Access

Hike-in

Location

Field Guide

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.